A few weeks ago I was mowing the grass in the back garden and noticed that a little willow tree which was planted before we ever moved in, was trailing its branches on the ground. I was initially amazed by the growth, but then realised that it hadn’t actually grown at all. The trunk was completely broken and the whole tree was about to collapse. Once I’d removed it, of course it opened up a whole new space in the corner of the garden. In those short few weeks, new shoots have sprouted, plants have started to grow around the base of the trunk and branches from nearby trees are reaching into the new space. The landscape of the garden has changed.
In our community recently, there have been quite a few structural changes. A couple of redundant police stations have been demolished to make way for new housing and commercial developments, vacant plots are slowly but surely growing new buildings, our neighbours are building extensions. I wonder what Tony would say about these new developments. He would be fascinated to know what was going on and who the builders were and of course he would have an expert opinion on the progress!
The physical landscape around us is always changing, sometimes imperceptibly, sometimes very obviously. And so it is with our lives. From dramatic and traumatic to the barely noticeable, life takes on a new skyline. The sunrise is framed in a new way. But the sun rises all the same. We encounter new obstacles on our path which invite decisions to be made. Climb over? Skirt around? Get help? Sit and rest awhile? Sometimes this is all just overwhelming. Sometimes it is a welcome change to the predictable. Sometimes it is our own making. Sometimes it is all beyond our control. But almost without a doubt, at some point, new shoots will sprout, branches will reach into the space and the bare ground will begin to show fresh green shades of new life. For that I am very grateful.
I will never forget our little willow tree. It has stood and watched us play, swing, weed, laugh and cry over the years. I am sad that it has gone, but I watch the empty space with hopeful anticipation of new things.